‘Spot-Pick hero’: Back pages after England’s penalty joy

Hype levels going up and up after England finally won on penalties at the World Cup

England’s Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Carlos Bacca of Colombia during their World Cup quarter-final clash in Moscow. Photo: Alberto Estevez/EPA

England’s Jordan Pickford saves a penalty from Carlos Bacca of Colombia during their World Cup quarter-final clash in Moscow. Photo: Alberto Estevez/EPA

 

England have finally won a penalty shootout at the World Cup. Yes, if you thought the old English Achilles heel of those 12-yard spot kicks would end their World Cup dream once again, you were wrong.

The right boots of Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Kieran Tripper, Eric Dier and the left hand of Jordan Pickford ensured Gareth Southgate’s side got past Colombia and set up a quarter-final date with Sweden in the next stage of an odyssey that now really, really has people believing that 52 years of hurt can be ended and England can win the World Cup.

‘Spot-Pick hero’ from The Daily Star was the highlight of the tabloid headlines on Wednesday morning above a picture of a diving Jordan Pickford sticking his left hand up in the air to block Carlos Bacca’s effort.

Pickford was the hero across most of the papers after his save brought England back into it when Jordan Henderson’s miss looked like it may have ended their chances.

The front page of The Sun proclaims ‘Hand of Jord’ under the same picture of the 24-year-old goalkeeper while, on their back page, they say ‘England win on penalties (yes, really!)’ underneath the caption of ‘A headline we have waited a lifetime to write’.

On July 16th could that be ‘A headline we have waited 52 years to write?’

‘Believe’ is the rallying cry from The Daily Telegraph while the Guardian go for a similarly motivational splash of ‘Yes, we can’.

There’s a feeling of relief in the Daily Express and The Times.

The i proclaims ‘A new England’ and who knows what impact it may indeed have on the country (and even on Brexit) if Southgate’s boys go all the way.

Even the New York Post got in on the act by proclaiming (for no apparent reason) ‘GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!’

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